Friday, May 25, 2012

1-day road trip along Roman roads and home rivers


ruins and flowers it was today -  and beyond that: Roman roads, river reflections, and Celtic surprises. here's the story:

each year, one of the towns of this region is hosting a large garden exhibition. this ongoing event often includes the creation of a new park, or other lasting transformations to make the city greener.

this year, the host is "Nagold", a town at the edge of the black forest, about an hour from here. my sister had the idea to visit, and i will pick her up on the way there, in Rottenburg - a town i havn't been to yet. turns out, Rottenburg once was a Roman settlement called Sumelocenna - the name is derived from the Celtic tribe Sumelo. so i went there a bit earlier, to visit Rottenburg and its historic centre, and on the way noticed a sign that marked the road: "R√∂merstrasse" it said: "Historic Roman Street".

halfway to Rottenburg are some lakes, and when i took the sideroad to them, the Roman sign popped up again and pointed out an old grave monument i hadn't known of:

from there, i drove on to Rottenburg, which was built next to the Neckar river - the very river that runs through my hometown Esslingen and that i drove along and walked along many times. it's the reason for the Roman Street in this region, and for the settlements: rivers where the lifelines and the travel routes in the past. some archeologists think that the first tribes of humans spread along rivers into Europe. so the Romans  weren't the first to follow a river road. it probably was there before, as walkway. 
the next 3 photos are from Rottenburg: at the Neckar, in the old city, and in the historic museum.




the Rottenburg museum also had some brochures of other historic places and exhibitions - and a leaflet about the "Roman Street". it actually starts next to the town i live. so without knowing of it, i followed it all the way to Rottenburg.

in Rottenburg, i met up with my sister, and we drove to Nagold, to the garden exhibition. it was beautiful to explore the town and the gardens together, and to walk along the river: not the Neckar this time, but the Nagold, which gave the town its name:





and for the third time that day, i walked into the past: we took a path that lead to this field of sculptures. beyond it was a sloped circular shape: "like a Celtic mound grave", i said, remembering the shape from earlier this year. well: it doesn't only look like a mound grave, it is one. and the sculptures are inspired by Celtic myhthology.


all those past places, they are woven into this region it feels. and the paths along the rivers, they have been travelled since centuries and millenniums. not sure why i didn't notice this past dimension before, but in many of the historic places, it's not really pointed out heavily - you have to look for the info sign that explains it, otherwise you can just walk by here, wondering about the dark modern art and the boring green slope in  the back, speculating that without any flowers on it, it still has to be decorated yet.

another realization: blogging from the road doesn't really work too well for a day like this.

***

and as all those home road trips start to connect more and more, here the links to the previous regional road trips:

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